Sunday, March 2, 2008

Special Education

I just had to write all about how blessed I have been in the process of getting Special Ed services for my autistic son. I've heard and even experienced through my brother some pretty horrendous horror stories related to special education. Parents having to fight tooth and nail for their child, and children set up to fail because the school districts just don't want to have to deal with them. I was very nervous starting this process for my son a few months ago because of these experiences.

However, from day one I have been pleasantly surprised and encouraged by the system. The teachers, evaluations, and administrators have all been very helpful; they answer my questions, they are open to communication, and they go out of their way to understand my son better. I am welcome to e-mail my concerns or questions, and his teacher, his ST, and his OT all write me back. His teacher will even send home little notes about small successes or things she knows I want to hear. Every day when we pick him up, we get a report on what he did that day. The best part for me is that I've been invited to come in and watch his sessions with the ST and OT.

Not only is there excellent communication, but the quality of education has been amazing! He is growing in small ways, and has actually reached out to other children. The people that work with him are great at knowing that he isn't mean, he's not aggressive or dangerous, he's just a little boy that needs help learning how to deal with other children. They see the signs of sensory overload and are willing to work with him to calm down, and want to learn more about how to help him. They see him as a child, not a terror. They see his heart and his willingness to learn, they see beyond the autism, something precious few adults in his life are willing to do.

So thank you to the teachers, aides, therapists, and administrators who've all made this such a positive thing in our lives. Thank you for loving my son.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Spiritual Police

Warning: rant on the way!

I am so tired of Christians who get their jollies out of making sure that other Christians are doing things "right". And by right, I mean their way! Of course there's a big to do about "speaking the truth in love", "supporting our brothers and sisters in Christ" and some such nonsense. And of course every issue is of utmost importance right?

Um, hello! The Holy Spirit really doesn't need any help! Does He sometimes use us in each other's lives? Yes, but I'd have to say rarely in the sense of giving someone a "word" to give to someone else. Spiritual accountability and mentorship is important, but this implies a close relationship between two people. Only the will it be possible for people to encourage each other properly.

But apparently the church is filled with these people who can magically see into others lives and get to tell other Christians how to live their lives. Even worse, to judge or to put down another's salvation because of some really dumb issue (read: she doesn't speak in tongues; I saw him smoke, she had a beer last week, etc...)

How sad must it make our Creator to look down and see His children treating each other with such awful disregard. People, it's not love, it's P. R.I.D.E.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Things you might want to know about me...

I'll start with things I love:
  • God
  • My husband
  • My wonderful amazing boys
  • Musical theatre
  • Learning the Bible
  • Learning in general
  • pets
  • dancing
  • acting
  • singing
  • going for a drive on a fall afternoon
  • being snowed in
  • a good book
  • old movies
  • bubble baths
  • cheesecake
  • Swedish fish
  • hot chocolate

Things I hate:
  • spiders (well, bugs)
  • scary movies
  • proof texting
  • onions
  • being cold
  • bad smells

Things I'm good at:
  • acting/singing/dancing
  • listening
  • talking
  • teaching, working with kids
  • shopping for bargains
  • organizing
Things I'm bad at:
  • cooking
  • directions
  • math
  • accents

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I hate gout. I hate what it does to our family and our lives. Two years ago my husband had his first attack. Since then he's been put on a myriad of different medications, he's been on a low purine diet, he's seen a specialist. With every attack his knee loses some mobility. He gets weaker and weaker. This time it's in both his knee and his ankle. At least it's the same leg, but what happens if it attacks both legs at the same time?

Two days ago I was angry. You see, he stopped his diet and hasn't been taking his meds. So now we are back to these awful attacks that take over the lives of our entire family. Now I am no longer angry, I am tired. I am a full time mother, housekeeper, and now nurse. I ache for the excruciating pain my beloved is in. I am so tired from caring for him, and making sure the house stays completely picked up and safe for him to get through; not to mention that I am completely on my own dealing with our children, who sense the tension in our home and are reacting to it. I try so hard to keep life normal, but when my husband wakes up screaming in the night, when he cannot not play with them, or do the things he usually does, there is only so much I can do. They are afraid to touch him because of the times in their childish glee and exuberance they've accidentally hurt him and he's cried out in pain. How can I protect them from that?

The worst part? He cannot sleep in bed with me because he forgets in his sleep and tries to move which causes pain. So he sleeps on he couch. He is depressed and tired and discouraged. He's been scolded by doctors and family for not taking his medication and is even lower. I try to encourage him and to support him and lift him up. But in truth, I am tired, and discouraged, and lonely too.

I hate gout.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


As I sit here at 5:30am because my beloved son decided that he didn't need to sleep past 5, I'm beginning to really process what's been going on with him the past few weeks. Well, Peyton hasn't actually changed, but how I look at things and process them has.
Ever since he was a baby, Peyton has been a challenge. He was a high needs baby with his own schedule and needs, and completely unafraid to demand those needs. He hit his milestones really early, and so was moving and getting into things early. As a toddler, Peyton was curious, intelligent, and into absolutely everything. Any babyproofing we did was a temporary fix at best. I've consistently wondered how on earth I would get this child to adulthood.
Now, Peyton is the most wonderful whirlwind I've ever known. Yet, things continue to be difficult. We'll have times where everything seems perfect, and other times when I am at my wits end. It scares me that he cannot get along with other children, because I know he likes them. He likes people, he wants to know you. He just has to have things his way, his terms, otherwise he cannot handle it. No matter what I do, I cannot get through to him, and yet I see his eyes when he has acted out. He's upset with himself, and frustrated, because he wants so much to do right. We're all tired and hurting.
Because of this I've made the decision to have Peyton evaluated for Speech, OT (for sensory issues) and Behaviorally. We are several steps into the process for Behavior, and the doctor is talking to us like we're parents of a child with some form of ASD. I know Speech will be delayed, I predict some sensory issues, which would go with ASD, if it's there. No official diagnosis yet, but I can't help but feel that something is coming.
I'm scared. I have never ever given a second thought about having a child with special needs. Someday I will teach Special Ed, and I've discussed adopting a special needs child. Yet, this is different, because it's my son. I look into his future and wonder what it will hold. I don't want the hurt and the struggle that comes from being "odd" for him. I want him to know a carefree childhood, and the joy of innocence. I keep waiting for an official diagnosis, because I refuse to jump ahead, but I'm scared, and I'm even grieving a little. But, Peyton, I love you!!!! I will be by your side, I will fight with and for you, and I will be there for you. Your are my child, my baby. You are my heart. Love, Mommy.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


I've decided to start a blog, to just get my thoughts out there. If people are interested, well that's fine. I started with topic that's really been on my mind lately.

As a parent, nothing will come under more scrutiny than the discipline of your children. Complete strangers who see a 30 sec interval into your life will have an opinion or a judgment as to what you are doing wrong. Added onto that is the fact that my oldest son is just not wired like other children. He has been labeled as uncontrollable by others who don't know or understand. They don't see his heart like I do, that he wants to much to do well, and right. He just doesn't always understand, and has consistently sent me seeking answers.

Often in Christian circles the subject of spanking comes up. It would seem that many Christians seem to hold to a very punitive parent must have absolute control, break the will of the child, mindset. I've genuinely shocked people with my decision to not spank, and I want to explain why.

First I will give personal reasons. I grew up in a lot of chaos and confusion. Early on there was abuse of my mother, later on there was many different foster homes with different rules and styles of parenting. I was always confused and consistently in trouble. I have taken the brunt of anger, and I know I have that tendency in me. Often it is my first reaction to spank, it comes from that unhealthy place in me that is in the process of healing.

Now, when talking about actually striking my child, I have to say, WHY would I? There would have to be some very compelling reason for me to do so. Rules, consequences and discipline does not have to include corporal punishment, so why would I use it? It has never made sense to me. The absolutely only argument that would convince me is a directive from God. But wait, some will try to tell me He has directed it.

No, I have spent quite a bit of time studying the rod verses, and without going into too much detail I will say that I know with 100% clarity they are not speaking of striking a child. The general idea is making your discipline a constant presence in their life. A few facts here that support that is:
1) Proverbs is a book with poetic words and wise sayings. Absolutely no other directives come from Proverbs that are not supported by other Scripture.
2) The word for rod is Shebet, and it could be a shepherd's staff, a king's scepter (think about who wrote the book!) or the staff signifying the head of the clan (think like Moses' rod) Interestingly, we know that the use of a king's scepter was to extend grace from punishment.
3) The word used for child indicates a boy over the age of 5. Completely opposite to what we think of spanking today.
4) 1John 4:18- There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

The Icky Part:
So I wondered where the spanking comes from and found out two very very icky things, and by the way, I do not ever ever recommend you google the term spanking. YUCK!!!

Spare the rod, spoil the child is a line in a poem called Hubridas (sp?). The poem is about how couples were using spanking as domestic discipline in the bedroom as a form of eroticism.

The Spencer Spanking Plan was the first book written about how to spank. It includes all the main points taught today about how to spank your children; including never spank in anger. The purpose of the book was to educate couples on how to use domestic discipline to keep their fights from getting in the way in the bedroom. YUCK YUCK YUCK!!!!

Conclusion: I will choose to parent my children in such a way as to not cause fear, but through gentle love, show my children grace, consistency, and discipline. I will be a constant presence in their lives, to train them. I do not want them to ever fear me, but to trust me in all things. I want to mold their hearts, not simply their behavior.